A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

By QBOak

Adventure / Drama

The Dancer, The Healer, The Memoria!

I stared at the roof of the Gym as me and June approached the doors.

The roof was designed as a humongous, red flower with white polka dots on it. It looked so familiar...

The electronic glass doors slid open and the sweet smell of perfume and plants were the first things I noticed before my eyes could even take in the view. The first thing I saw was June. “Huh?”

She was right next to me just a second ago, but now she was gripping the pink counter sitting in front of a pretty lady with a surprised look on her slightly red face, staring at June. “What is that scent??” she insisted.

Behind the woman was a set of large plants of various colors, reaching high up to the ceiling. In fact, plants were everywhere in this place, I began to realize as I took a good look around me.

The lady stood up from her seat and nodded at us. “Welcome to Celadon City Gym,” the woman greeted us. “What you’re smelling is a combination of the flowers we raise here with our Grass type Pokemon, and the perfume we wear and make here, the essence of which is inspired from the Pokemon in this Gym.”

“It’s wonderful!” June squealed. “I would love to buy some! It smells so wonderful! Do you have samples I can try out?”

“Actually, we do,” the woman said excitedly. “If you’d like to wait for just a moment, I can bring you a few.”

“That would be wonderful!”

“Um…” I started.

“Just one second, sir. I’ll be right with you in a moment after I take care of this lady who got here first,” the woman smiled at me. She walked from behind the counter and went through a door in the back.

I glared at June.

June turned to me, smiling. After seeing my face, her smile faded. “Sorry.”

“We got here at the exact same time,” I muttered.

“Yeah, but I did run ahead of you,” June winked.

I sighed in frustration.

“I’ll smell all pretty and stuff now, Gary! Won’t that be nice?”

I really could care less, I thought irritably, keeping silent eyes on her.

The lady came back soon enough with a tray full of samples of perfume for June to smell.

I walked over to a wall and slid down until I hit the floor and watched June smell each and every perfume sample that was there and losing it over how good they all smelled. With every wasted second, I got more and more agitated and impatient. Me and June are gonna have to have a talk, I thought.

This was just like when I would travel with my sister and parents to stores in the city. I’d be so bored when my mom and Melissa would drag me and dad to buy clothes and perfume and jewelry and other crap. My dad and I would sit together bored, waiting, and short on patience. We then would end up carrying the bags as the girls continued to buy even more stuff. We had a nice life. My eyes began to sting, tears blurring my vision I wasn’t really focusing on. What was my dad aiming for in life? How much better of a life did he want? Why did he leave to become a Pokemon Trainer? What was he looking for?

“I’ll come back with some more samples if you’d like,” the woman’s voice interrupted my thoughts.

“Okay, I’d love to see what else you have!” June replied.

“WAIT A MINUTE!” I yelled and leaped to my feet.

“Sir, there is no need to shout,” the woman said with a smile plastered on her face. “I will take care of you shortly after.”

“No no no,” I said angrily. “We are not here to purchase perfume! I am here to challenge the Gym Leader here! Is this a Gym or what?”The lady looked at me for a moment, the smile finally faded from her face. “Yes, this is the Celadon City Gym, but our Gym Leader isn’t here right now.”

“What?!” I was furious now.

“If you’re looking for the Gym Leader, you can go to our perfumery located not too far from this location, and you’ll find our Gym Leader there,” she told me.

“Why is the Gym Leader at a perfumery instead of at the Gym to accept challengers?” I questioned, throwing my hands into the air with exasperation and letting them slap down to the legs of my jeans.

“Hey! So I can stay here and you can go find the Gym Leader!” June bounced happily. “Then you both can come back here together!”I stared at June with my eyes open in surprise. “Really?”

“Yeah, you’ll be right back, right?”

“Yeah!” I was finally gonna break free from June for a while. What luck! I turned to the woman. “So where exactly is this perfumery?”

“Make a left once you leave the Gym, and after a while you’ll run into the Celadon Hotel where you’ll make another left turn. Just a short distance forward from there, and you should see the perfumery.”

“Okay. Sounds simple enough. See ya later, June!” I ran out of the building before she could even respond and made a left, stopping once I was several feet away.

The afternoon sun beamed hot upon me as a cold breeze circled me in a contrasting hug. Inhaling deeply and with a nice stretch of my arms and back, I smiled and let out a joyous laugh.

FREEDOM!!!I was finally free from June! For a short while, anyway. My walk was peaceful and stress free. Sure, the streets of Celadon were congested and noisy, but it could only have been worsened by June’s jabbering. I could handle walking through Celadon City on my own. This was how I had envisioned my journey being all along. I never had planned on traveling with anyone. It was always just supposed to me and my Pokemon.

The sweet, overwhelming, mouthwatering scent of pastries being baked brought me to a halt in front of a bakery. Scrumptious looking cakes and muffins were on display in the window. The more I inhaled, the stronger the desire to go in and purchase a few treats became. It was a huge effort to ignore my suddenly grumbling stomach and walk away, and the smell seemed to follow me for a few blocks before it was replaced with more of a mix of a feminine, floral, and even appetizing aroma. Finally, I saw it.

CELADON HOTEL

The huge words were plastered high on the building.

I think she said make a left here, right? I tried to remember. I took the turn and within seconds, I noticed the smell of perfume growing stronger. The power of the scent continued rising, and it started feeling like I was following my nose. My head turned on its own and I stopped as I saw the perfumery.

Celadon City Perfumery read the sign.

Taking another whiff, I entered the store. At once, whatever amount of masculinity I had within my body started to become challenged. I was in a store full of beautiful women, surrounded by the smell of perfume everywhere. This wasn’t my zone. I didn’t belong here.

June should’ve been here finding the Gym Leader, not me, I thought in a panic as my eyes darted around the building. Then again, if I had sent June to do this, I never would’ve seen her again. She’d probably just beg to live here. My masculinity was also enticed by the store. After all, there was a plethora of gorgeous women here, and everything smelled so... I wasn’t sure exactly what to call the feeling that was taking over my mind and body, but it felt instinctual. Or something... I sniffed again.

“Welcome to the Celadon City Perfumery,” a woman said from out of nowhere.

I turned to see a very attractive woman smiling at me.

“Would you like to try out our latest perfume?” She held up a bottle.

In the next instant, a spray came from the bottle and I was in pain. “AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!! MY EYES!!! IT HURRRRRRRRTS!!” I fell to the floor, covering my eyes and crying.

“Oh, goodness, no!! Julia, can you get me a wet rag? Please!” I heard the woman call out. “I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to actually spray it!!” She was right next to me and I felt a hand on my back that I assumed belonged to her.

A moment later, the sound of hurried footsteps got close to me.

“Pull back your head,” I heard the woman say.

I pulled my head back and felt a wet, warm rag press against my face. Even the rag smelled sweet like perfume. It was pushed against my eyes and rubbed into them. Occasionally, the rag was removed and what she said was eyewash was poured into my eyes as she held my eyes open. The rag would then be placed back over my face.

It took some time, but eventually my eyes felt better and the rag was removed for good. It still hurt just a bit to open my eyes, and everything was a bit blurry. A little later, I stood up and could see fine. That was when I noticed all of the women.

Beautiful women everywhere, staring at me. Some were giggling, some were just staring with blank looks, and others looked concerned. No one said a word.

“I’m really sorry about that. Are you alright?” the woman who sprayed me asked.

“I’m fine,” I grumbled.

“We can offer to give you a small box of any perfume you’d like as an apology,” the woman offered.

“I don’t want any perfume!” I snapped. “I came here looking for the Gym Leader of Celadon City!” From out the corner of my eye, I saw a tall figure approaching through the crowd of women.

It was a tall woman who was coming closer. No. A man?! I think??

This person had extremely tight black jeans with one yellow stripe on the outside of each leg. They were even tighter than the pants the women had on in the store. The plain black shirt was possibly just as tight as the jeans and as this stranger walked, it kept raising up just a bit, revealing a flat stomach a little. Blonde hair ended at the shoulders. The way this man strutted towards me made me want to back away. He stopped in front of me and I noticed his face had a glow to it. Was it makeup? His eyes had mascara on them and his lips glistened lightly with gloss.

I took a step back immediately, an uncomfortable look on my face.

“So, you wish to battle the Gym Leader of Celadon City?” the man asked curiously.

“Y-yeah…?” I replied hesitantly.

“I’ll have to be the one to escort you to the Gym Leader, then,” he replied in a slightly lazy tone of voice.

“I heard the Gym Leader was here.”

“You’ll be introduced and will battle the Celadon City Gym Leader at the Gym,” he replied impatiently.

“But I was just there!”

“And now you’re going back!” he snapped, shifting his hips to one side and placing his hands on them.

I stayed silent. This guy creeped me out, big time. Whatever it took for me to get away from him faster, I was down to do.

Everyone in the store was staring silently at us.

The man stood up straight and walked out of the store, his hips swiveling as he moved.

“Ugh…” I muttered, and followed after him.

As we walked back to the Gym, he was greeted throughout the city by numerous people. He was definitely popular. He kissed just about everyone who greeted him on both cheeks.

That can’t be healthy, I thought to myself at one point.

We finally reached the Gym, which took almost an hour due to all the people he had to meet and kiss.

Upon his arrival, the woman behind the counter who was still showing June what looked like thousands of perfume fragrances, stood up and clapped.

June stopped smelling the one in her hand and clapped as well, looking confused. Her face brightened up as she saw me step in. “Gary!”

The man bowed. “Thank you, thank you. And hello to you, beautiful.” He greeted June and extended his hand. When June offered hers, the man grabbed it softly and planted a kiss.

“Oh, my. Hello!” June blushed.

“Are you enjoying the scents you have displayed before you?” he asked June.

“Yes! They all smell so incredible!” June complimented. “I don’t know which ones to buy yet!”

“I’m so glad you like them,” he cooed. “Our perfume expert has been making perfume for many, many years. She is a genius at the art.”

“I have to say, she is fantastic,” June agreed. She looked to me. “Oh! Gary! How did the hunt for the Gym Leader go?”

“Apparently, the Leader came back again,” I grumbled.

The woman behind the counter giggled.

“Oh. I didn’t even notice anyone came in.” June looked around for a second. “I’m so caught up in these wonderful scents! But since you’re ready to go battle… I better tag along and watch.” June turned to the lady. “I just can’t decide. I’m sorry I made you take all of these out, but I need time to make my decision and my time is up.”The lady looked very upset. “Your time is up? What do you mean?”“Well, I’m here with Gary. And he’s about to participate in his Gym battle and I have to watch.”

“Why not just stay here with me and see what you like?” the woman asked, a hopeful smile returning.

“Well… I kind of have to stay with him and watch his matches and stuff,” she said slowly. “It’s why I’m with him. To learn about Pokemon.”

“The two are an adorable couple,” the man mentioned. “This gentle, kind beauty and this more stern, undesirable lad. Opposites truly do attract.”“Hey!” I shouted. “What does that mean?” A second later, “AND WE’RE NOT A COUPLE!”

June giggled. “We’re just friends.”“Maybe you are for now, but the connection is obvious and strong between you two,” the man smiled.

I gritted my teeth and glared at him. “Where is the Gym Leader???” I demanded.

The man smiled wider. “Right this way.” He walked over to a door in the back and opened it.

I walked after the tall man.

“Sorry!” June apologized to the woman, and ran after me.

We entered what I soon came to understand was a greenhouse. It made me realize that the entire Gym must be one. Flowers, trees, shrubs, and all other kinds of greenery were growing everywhere, sunlight shining through the windows against the walls.

There were many Grass type Pokemon around, as well.

I took out my Pokedex to scan a few of them.

Gloom. The Weed Pokemon and the evolved form of Oddish. They attract prey with the honey they drip from their mouths. Once in danger, it releases a stench that is unbearable.

Sunflora. The Sun Pokemon and the evolved form of Sunkern. They only are awake when the sun is out. When the sun sets, their petals close around their faces and they go to sleep.

Chikorita. The Leaf Pokemon. Chikorita are very friendly and tend to become emotional in certain situations where they aren’t well understood. To avoid fighting, this Pokemon may use the leaf on its head to create an aromatherapeutic affect.

Cacnea. The Cactus Pokemon. This Pokemon often live in harsh, desert environments and can store water in its body for up to a month. When hunting, this Pokemon releases a strong scent to attract prey, then shoots them down with sharp thorns from its body.

Cherubi. The Cherry Pokemon. Cherubi has a short stem growing from its head where two leaves grow, along with a second, smaller head. While this second head is edible, it is also Cherubi’s initial source of food.

Exeggutor. The Coconut Pokemon and the evolved form of Exeggcute. Each of its heads have their own personality, sometimes creating trouble for Trainers trying to raise this Pokemon to be obedient.

We turned a corner and stopped in front of another door.

“Beyond this door lies the Gym Leader you are so eager to battle, Gary,” the man spoke without interest. “Are you ready?”

“Finally!” I burst out. “Let’s do this!”

The man stared at me and snickered, moving his hips a little in response to my eagerness.

I leaned back a bit away from him at his movement and squinted my eyes at him, a visible sneer crossing my lips.

The man opened the door and stepped inside the new room, where June and I followed.

Turns out, the three of us had stepped into a park! That’s how it looked, at least. There was nothing but grass covering the ground of this room. The battlefield was outlined in chalk in the middle of the field, the outskirts of the field surrounded by trees and plants. The sun shined through the windows of the walls and a good portion of the windows on the ceiling.

I was amazed by the natural look of the place and walked up to the battlefield, stopping in my spot as I looked around for the Gym Leader.

A woman stood up from the shadow of a tree.

“Oh!” I smiled once I noticed her. There she is.

She wore a yellow skirt and a light blue tank top. “Hello,” she greeted me, smiling as warm as the sun. “Who are you?”

“My name is Gary from Pallet Town and I’ve come to challenge you to a Pokemon battle!”

“Me?” she asked in surprise.

I was taken aback by her response. “Well, yeah!” I laughed a bit. “Aren’t you the Gym Leader?”

She laughed. “No way, I’m the referee! The Gym Leader is right there!” She pointed to the other end of the field.

I turned to where she pointed to see… him!

The… “flamboyant,” gentleman who took me back here to battle the Gym Leader! The Gym Leader was himself all this time.

You?” My mouth just hung open, taking in this information.

“Yes. Welcome to the Celadon City Gym. I, Vincent, as Gym Leader of Celadon City, do accept your challenge.” His arms raised exaggeratingly over his head. His shirt lifted higher, showing more of his stomach that I didn’t wish to see.

“Why didn’t you just tell me? Why waste such time?”

“Surprises are best for any situation in life,” Vincent explained. “Surprises enrich life, give it deeper meaning. Makes the happiest of occasions that much more to revel within. Tragedies that more aweing.”

I shook my head and raised my hands. “Fine, whatever. Can we battle now?”

Vincent smiled. “As. You. Wish,” he spoke slowly. He turned to the referee and winked.

She nodded back. “This match shall be between Celadon City Gym Leader Vincent, and Gary from Pallet Town. It will be a three-on-three Pokemon battle. No time limit. Only the challenger may switch out Pokemon. The first one to defeat the other’s three Pokemon will be declared the winner. Let the battle begin!”

“Come out, my darling. My muse. My all star battler! Bellossom!” Vincent called out with a fancy twirl like that of a ballerina, throwing his Poke Ball.

The Poke Ball opened with a pop and a beautiful looking Pokemon I hadn’t seen before appeared.

Bellossom. The Flower Pokemon and one of two of the final evolutions of Gloom when a Sun Stone is used on one. Bellossom love to dance and chant, similar to that of cheerleaders. They tend to live in tropical areas and swamps, where the ground is rich in nutrients.

My mind went through the six Pokemon I had with me, and then I grabbed a Poke Ball. “I choose Butterfree!” I tossed my Pokemon out from its ball.

Butterfree flew out in its creepy but undeniably beautiful glory.

I scanned Butterfree to see what moves it had. “Butterfree, Bug Bite!”

Butterfree flew forward at Bellossom.

Bellossom jumped in the air with a fantastic spin and dodge easily.

Butterfree kept attempting to attack Bellossom, but Bellossom was far too quick. It dodged easily, jumping, spinning, doing back flips, avoiding damage in its natural manner of dance.

“Sweet Scent!” Vincent cheered on.

Bellossom spun faster in the air and a gentle pink powder came off of its body.Butterfree stopped attacking, now captivated by the smell floating in the air, gently flapping its wings.

“Stun Spore!” Vincent added.

Bellossom just hit the ground from its last spin and leaped into the air again, not missing a beat, spinning just as fast, releasing an orange powder at Butterfree.

Butterfree cried out and hit the floor, twitching in pain. It was paralyzed.

“Now, end this! Leaf Storm!” Vincent commanded.

Bellossom landed gracefully on its feet on the ground and began to spin again, moving to its own tune. It spun faster than before and leaves began to circle it. The barrage of leaves glowed a bright light green and flew out and hit Butterfree.

Butterfree called out helplessly as the hits tossed it into the air. More leaves flew from Bellossom and into Butterfree and it dropped, bouncing twice before becoming motionless.

“Butterfree is unable to battle! Bellossom is the winner!” the referee announced.

“Oh, no. Poor Butterfree!” June was sitting on the side of the field, opposite to where the referee was, laying back against a tree, a Sunkern sitting happily in her lap.

I returned my Butterfree. Guess that didn’t work, I thought. “Thanks anyway for trying.” But I knew who to use next. “It’s time to win that Badge! Charmeleon, let’s wrap this up!” I called out my Pokemon.

Once Charmeleon was out, he sniffed the air, taken by the scents.

“Focus, Charmeleon!” I snapped.

Charmeleon looked to me and nodded. “Chaaaaarrr!” He blasted a stream of fire into the air. “Meleon!” He turned to Bellossom and growled, flexing his arms.

“Let’s try Ember for starters!”

Charmeleon opened his mouth and used Ember.

Bellossom twirled and easily dodged the flames.

“Sweet Scent this hazard to our home!” Vincent spoke strongly.

Bellossom started spinning and the pink powder caught Charmeleon off guard. He smiled and inhaled the sweet aroma.

“Charmeleon, snap out of it! Ember!” I demanded.

But Charmeleon was too deep in the daydreams ignited by the scent.

“Sunny Day!” Vincent went next.

Bellossom’s leaves around its body started to glow a bright white. The plant Pokemon raised its arms high in the air and beams of the light shot up from its leaves to the glass ceiling of the Gym and illuminated it, causing a bright glow.

I instantly felt the temperature rise as the brightness from the sun outside grew even more intense.

“Charmeleon!” I cried out.

“Solar Beam!” Vincent chose.

“Flamethrower!” I countered.

Charmeleon was startled by the bright light that now shone through the Gym and recovered his senses. The Solar Beam launched and Charmeleon let out its Flamethrower. Charmeleon’s Flamethrower, intensified by the Sunny Day, was a sight to see. It was bigger than Solar Beam and looked a lot more powerful.

A Fire type move versus a Grass type move should be a good win for me, I was sure.

Indeed, the flame overpowered Solar Beam and Bellossom could be heard screaming as the intense wave of heat hit home. The fire was a bright white color and took over a good portion of the entire battlefield. It seared Bellossom for what almost seemed to be taking too long before it finally ended.

“My angel!” Vincent gasped.

“Bellossom is unable to battle! Charmeleon is the winner!” the referee ruled.

“Yes! Good show, Charmeleon!” I cheered.

Charmeleon gave me a thumbs up and winked.

“Unbelievable luck!” Vincent called out to me angrily. He returned his Pokemon to its Poke Ball and grabbed his next choice right after. “Let’s see how you like this one! Go Venusaur!”

The enormous Pokemon was released on the field and let out a terrifying roar.

June gasped from her place.

Vincent smiled even brighter and laughed. “Beat. That,” Vincent said snottily, snapping his fingers at either side of his face behind his words.

“Charmeleon, Flamethrower!”

Charmeleon opened his jaws and sent another intense spray of flames out.

Venusaur was completely engulfed by the tremendous power. Once the flames faded, Venusaur was shown to still be standing! It raised one foot and slammed it into the ground with a big BOOOOOOMM! “SAAAAAAAUUURRR!”

“Oh, no!” I complained.

Vincent laughed. “Venusaur, Synthesis!” Vincent smiled madly.

Venusaur’s enormous plant on its back glowed white and its entire body soon began to glow a bright yellow.

Synthesis recovers the user, but how much energy is recovered depends on the weather, I recalled. In bright sunlight, it recovers more than half of the user’s health.

Once Venusaur finished glowing, it let out another, louder, “SAAAAAAAUUURRRR!!”

“Flamethrower again!” I told Charmeleon. “Keep it up!”

Charmeleon let out another powerful flame at the enormous plant and engulfed it once more.

Once it ended, Venusaur merely shook its head and roared once again.

“Don’t let up, Charmeleon! We have to be wearing it out! Burn it up!”

“Vine Whip!” Vincent spoke up. “Shut its trap and give it a spin!”

Venusaur used Vine Whip as Charmeleon’s jaws opened. The vines snapped them shut before any fire could come out.

Just like Aly’s Ivysaur, I thought. A smile crossed my face. No problem.

Suddenly, Venusaur lifted Charmeleon in the air, and then slammed him back to the ground! The vines lifted him up again and Venusaur repeatedly slammed Charmeleon!

“Whoa!” I shouted.

Charmeleon was helpless as he got lifted higher and higher and slammed back down.

“Charmeleon, try slashing at the vines to free yourself!”

Suddenly, Venusaur lifted Charmeleon again, higher than before, over the blossomed Pokemon itself, and spun him in the air!

Charmeleon was being whipped around in circles, fast. The vines finally let go and Charmeleon flew like a rocket, screaming, and crashed into one of the trees. He hit the ground hard.

“Charmeleon is unable to battle!” the referee declared. Venusaur is the winner!”

I returned my Charmeleon. “Thank you, Charmeleon. You did excellent.” I took a deep breath, determining who to use next. Gripping the Poke Ball, I took a deep breath. “My last hope! You can do it, Hoothoot!” I threw his Poke Ball.

Hoothoot landed on the field, staring at Venusaur.

“WHAT??” June’s voice rang out.

I gasped. “Wait! No!” I screamed. I’d completely forgotten!

Hoothoot’s wing was still damaged!

“This Pokemon is injured! I didn’t mean to send him out!” I pleaded with the Gym Leader. “Please, let me recall him for another.”

Vincent shook his head at me in disgust. “You’re a poor Pokemon Trainer for this error. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. You’ll either battle with it and be the worst kind of Pokemon Trainer I personally have ever had to witness, or you can forfeit the match and keep some dignity and respect, not only for self, but from others...”

My breath came out shakily, not wanting to make a choice I instantly knew was the right thing to do. My only real option. “Hoothoot, I’m not letting you battle,” I said in defeat. “Come back.”

Hoothoot looked over at me and angrily hooted.

“Huh?” I frowned in confusion at my Pokemon. “Hoothoot, no,” I said firmly. “Return!” I tried recalling Hoothoot, but he leaped in the air, flapping his wings, and hovered for a moment before coming back down to earth. “Hoothoot, cut it out and return!”

Hoothoot hopped out of the way of the red beam trying to take him back to his Poke Ball and turned around to face Venusaur. Suddenly, Hoothoot pecked away his bandages on his wing!

June gasped.

Hoothoot hooted once loudly, flapping his wings strongly, and he let out a deafening cry!

Everyone covered their ears except Venusaur, who was unable to being as it stood on all fours, and I assumed Sunkern, who had no appendages.

Uproar came to a stop after what seemed too long and a new sound took the spot of the attack.

I opened my eyes, my hands still over my ears, and gasped.

Hoothoot was shouting out, a serious look on his face as he flew at Venusaur, who was still in a daze over the Uproar.

My hands lowered as I watched my Pokemon go, and I realized that it wasn’t so bright on the battlefield anymore. This realization was joined with my noticing I was no longer so hot, and I quickly glanced up at the sky.

The Sunny Day attack was over.

Hoothoot‘s eyes suddenly started glowing blue and Venusaur was outlined in a blue light. Venusaur began to scream, and the weighty Pokemon started to float in the air! It began to move backwards as Hoothoot continued charging forward!

Hoothoot is attacking with Confusion! I realized.

Hoothoot let out a scream as he flew forward at Venusaur and Venusaur was in the air being forced back by Hoothoot’s Psychic power.

Venusaur, facing Hoothoot, was forced backwards into a tree.

Hoothoot landed on the ground and hooted proudly.

“Venusaur is unable to battle! The winner is Hoothoot!” the referee called.

Hoothoot continued cheering with excitement before flying back over to my end of the field.

“Wow, Hoothoot,” I said in amazement. “Are you okay?”

Hoothoot faced me and hooted strongly.

I smiled. “Alright! Then, I guess, let’s do this!”

Hoothoot faced the other way with a sharp hoot.

I took a look at June out the corner of my eye.

She was staring at Hoothoot and I, dumbfounded, her mouth hanging open.

Vincent clapped slowly. “I must say, that was very impressive and first class entertainment. You’ve beaten all of my Pokemon that I have raised with exquisite care and love.”

“All of your Pokemon?” I repeated. “But, isn’t this a-?”

“When I met the owner of the perfumery I work at, I swear it was love at first sight,” Vincent continued. “She was absolutely gorgeous and I just about fell in love. She ran this Gym perfectly. Her and her Gloom. They were the greatest team you’d ever seen in your life. She created world renowned fragrances based off of the scent of her Gloom. She could see the beauty in all creatures. And she even saw the beauty, in me.” Vincent took a Poke Ball from his belt. He pressed the center button to enlarge it and stared at it as he continued talking, as if he were talking to the object. “When we married, we were the happiest couple the world could ever dare to imagine. She trusted me and I trusted her. We opened ourselves and gave all of our love to each other. She made me manager of the store she ran because I was so skilled and knowledgeable on her life’s desire. ...Perfume. She even entrusted her Gym to remain in my care when she decided to retire and dedicate her entire life to the art of perfumery. That was her life. Perfume. Her Gloom. And me. Until she discovered a wonderful secret. A way she could do even better at the art of making perfume. A new blend she could create. A world changing one that to this day remains one of the crowning jewels in the art of perfumery. It has always existed, but she was the one to discover it. And she realized that all, she had, to do, was...” Vincent looked up at me and smirked. He tossed the Poke Ball at the field.

I saw the Pokemon and instantly realized why the flower on the top of the Gym looked so familiar.

“Vileplume!” Vileplume stated its name with delight.

Vileplume. That was what the top of the Gym looked like. It was modeled after the top of a Vileplume’s head.

“She evolved her Gloom once she discovered the secret of Vileplume and the powers it can give off to those it trusts and loves,” Vincent said softly, staring at Vileplume with gentle desire. “And nobody loved that Gloom more than Erica. And nobody loves her Vileplume more than she does, either.”

Vileplume. The Flower Pokemon and the other final evolution of Gloom when a Leaf Stone is used on it. Vileplume loudly flap their petals to release pollen. The petals attract prey who get doused in the poisonous pollen. Once immobilized, Vileplume can capture and devour them.

“And nobody is allowed to use her Vileplume except her.” Vincent’s smile broadened sinisterly. “Or me.”

“I’m not afraid of that thing!” I insisted. “Hoothoot, go! Uproar!”

“Silence that fowl!” Vincent raged. “Sleep Powder!”

Vileplume quickly sprayed a blue powder from the center of its flower. “Pluuuuuuume!”

“Hoothoot!” I swallowed hard, my eyes wide with concern.

Hoothoot flew high into the air just as he was ready to inhale air for Uproar, but instead, he started spinning around in circles! He flew frantically faster and faster as a wild wind began to blow all around the field, blowing the blue powder away from him!

“Hoothoot?” What’s going on? I pulled out my Pokedex.

Air Slash. The user uses multiple means to create a powerful wind and results in a devastating air attack.

I watched, mesmerized, as Hoothoot continued to fly around. My bird’s body started to glow a bright light blue color. He flew around faster and then stopped, raised a wing, and a ball of energy suddenly formed in it. Hoothoot hooted loudly and charged forward at Vileplume, and then tossed the ball.

Vileplume was stuck in place by fear at the incredible sight as the ball hit it and sent it sliding across the field.

I saw Vincent looking in shock. I had to take advantage. Especially since I noticed another new move from Hoothoot from the Pokedex. “Zen Headbutt!”

Hoothoot’s head started to glow blue and a blue ball of energy appeared on top. With a yell, he charged forward at the stunned Vileplume and collided into it with great force.

The field was covered in dust and dirt, blown everywhere by the wind, blinding me from viewing anything. The dust finally settled.

“Vileplume is unable to battle!” the referee called it. “Hoothoot is the winner! This match goes to Gary from Pallet Town!”

“YYYYYYEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!” I leaped as high up as I could and then ran to Hoothoot. He flew straight into my arms. “Hoothoot, you did it!” I hugged him tight. “I’m so sorry I sent you out. That was completely careless of me, Hoothoot. Please, forgive me.”

Hoothoot hooted. He struggled out of my arms and flew right above me, where he proceeded to peck me on the head.

“Ow, ow! I’m sorry!” I begged, smiling weakly.

“Well, you sure made quick work out of me,” Vincent said. He was standing only a couple of feet away from me with a stony glare on his face. He looked away and closed his eyes, turning his nose up. “Vileplume isn’t really cut out for battles. Erika never really trained Vileplume to participate in battles, so obviously the poor thing is a little out of shape.” His eyes opened and he squinted at me. His fist extended. “Excuses aside, you have earned yourself the Rainbow Badge, fair and square. Excellent battle. You truly earned it. Just be more careful next time...” He nodded at Hoothoot and then opened the fist, which contained the multicolored, circular, Rainbow Badge!

I took it from his palm and then grabbed at the Poke Balls on my belt. “Dugtrio, Charmeleon, Primeape, Beedrill, Butterfree, come on out!” I hurled their Poke Balls into the air.

They all cheered as I held up our third Badge.

Except for Dugtrio.

At everyone’s united cry of joy, Dugtrio immediately went underground.

“Dugtrio?” I leaned over towards the hole he had dug. “Hey! Where’d you go?”

Dugtrio slowly appeared again, sticking his heads out of the dirt only as far down as his eyes.

“Dugtrio, we won a Badge today,” I said happily. “Don’t be shy. Celebrate with us!”

Dugtrio stared at me silently, nervously.

“Did we startle you, Dugtrio?” I asked him with a sympathetic smile. “I’m sorry. Don’t be afraid. Cheer with us! You deserve to. All of you guys are with me on this journey. I like to think that everybody worked hard to earn all of the Badges that we will obtain. We’re a team. One win is one win for us all. One loss is a loss for us all, too. That’s what being on this team is all about.” I looked at all of my Pokemon. “I thank you all for the support needed to earn this Badge.”Dugtrio popped a tiny bit further out of the dirt and managed a smile. Once the other Pokemon cheered, he got nervous again and went underground.

We all laughed at Dugtrio’s shyness. Even Vincent, the referee, June, and the Sunkern she still held in her hands.

“Thanks again!” June waved back.

I waved goodbye to the Gym Leader.

Me and June had just left the Gym and were on our way to the Pokemon Center.

Vincent gave June a small bag containing a few of the best selling perfumes from their store as a courtesy for having such a great battle.

I didn’t really get it or care. I had my Badge.

“Too bad I had to say goodbye to that little cutie Sunkern,” June said as we walked through the city.

“You seemed to be getting attached to it.”June laughed. “He was adorable!”

We reached the Pokemon Center and the doors opened.

I saw her and felt a tight grip around my heart as I froze, my eyes wide in recognition.

She saw me.

“YOU!” we both exclaimed in unison.

“Well, if it isn’t this noob of a Trainer in Celadon City,” the girl said, her southern accent just as charming despite her rude words. Her brown hair was still wrapped behind her head, trailing in a nice twist behind her neck, sitting on her left shoulder. She even had her Butterfree on her right shoulder.

I took a step back away from the enormous Bug, my eyes now glued to it.

“And you’re still afraid of Bug Pokemon, huh?” she grinned. “Pathetic.” She stared at June. “And who’s this? Your girlfriend?”“No,” I snapped. “She’s just a friend.”The girl shrugged. “Whatever. So what are you doing here, anyway? I’m surprised you made it out of Viridian Forest alive. Figured you’d be killed if you hadn’t been smart enough to backtrack your way to Pallet.”“I told you I wasn’t running away and I was going to keep going forward,” I growled. I pulled out my Badge case and opened it in front of her. “You see? I have three Badges so far.” I closed it and slipped it back into my jacket. “How many do you have? Have you battled the Gym Leader here?”She sneered at me and raised a hand to my face. “Puh-lease, loser. I’m so far ahead of you this topic is over.”“Huh? What do you mean?”

“Hey, who are you, anyway?” June asked moodily.

The girl looked at her and smiled. The smile quickly turned into a look of disgust. “None of your nosy little business. Butt out!” She turned to me and took a step closer, smiling.

I stepped back as her Butterfree was way too close for comfort.

“If you’re still afraid of the most weakest of all types, Bugs, I recommend you go sell your Badges for top dollar, and take a nice little vacation with your little girlfriend here because you won’t be getting much further as a Pokemon Trainer being afraid of stupid little insects,” she whispered. She stepped back, smiled at June, and turned away, leaving us behind.

“Who the hell was she?” June asked me.

I didn’t say anything. I had no real answer.

“I should’ve slapped her one. Right in the face,” June growled. “Talk about rude! And what was that crock about Bug Pokemon? I don’t even like Bugs that much or anything, but every Pokemon can do its part if raised properly!”

June continued talking loudly about the girl as the girl continued to walk ahead.

I knew the girl could hear June perfectly clearly. She was probably enjoying the fact that June was so riled up over her.

I remembered her perfectly from our encounter in Viridian Forest when her Butterfree saved my life from the swarm of Beedrill, but I never got her name or anything about who she was. I only knew that she had a Butterfree but claimed to hate Bug Pokemon and thought they were all weak. She only admitted that she thinks her Butterfree is strong but didn’t seem to have anything nice to say about other Bug Pokemon.

But who was she?

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